The second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump is underway this week, shedding a new and terrifying light on the events of January 6. The influence of Christian nationalism on the insurrection and the Trump administration more broadly cannot be overstated. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will look into how our partners and affiliates are working to disempower religious extremism.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, journalist and author Susan Katz Miller will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss how America’s growing religious diversity is increasing the number of couples dating and marrying across lines of faith. Building life with a person who brings different religious beliefs–or no religious beliefs at all–can present challenges, but also opportunities to learn, grow and develop as individuals and as a family. Susan is the author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family.

Although African American religion hasn’t demanded accommodation in the public square nearly as loudly as does the dominant strain of political Christianity in this country, the fact is that it’s subject to far greater threats. Rev. Gaddy will sit down with Dr. Sabrina Dent, editor of a new book, African Americans and Religious Freedom: New Perspectives for Congregations and Communities, recently released by the Freedom Forum. They’ll discuss the intersecting struggles of race and religious freedom–and how the language of religious liberty has too often been weaponized as a tool of sectarianism and bigotry.

Finally, Noel Jacobs, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, will join Welton to discuss how the political Religious Right has decentralized its ongoing efforts toward a theocratic vision of America. In the wake of President Biden’s election, Christian nationalists are pushing their agenda within state and local government with renewed vigor. Dr. Jacobs will discuss his efforts to defend true religious freedom for all people and why he’s committed to taking up this challenge at such an uncertain time.

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